Saturday, October 13

fTucker Hates the Troops, he Really hates them

In this rather amazing exchange on Real Time last night, Tucker Carlson made some rather emphatic suggestions in support of Blackwater USA.

Tucker: You can't go anywhere in Iraq without them (Blackwater), the military is not going to protect you.

So much for "the surge is working" and strolling through the market to buy five rugs for five dollars! I thought Bagdad was supposed to be like Walmart by now?

I don't think there's any evidence that the Blackwater guys have committed anymore atrocities than our troops.

Say what? Our troops have commited "atrocities"? Say it isn't so Tucker - say it isn't so...

Oh right, according to Tucker using Blackwater is obviously better than our troops since they haven't yet had their own Haditha (where U.S. Marines killed 15 unarmed Iraqis) and Moumoudiya (Where U.S. Soldiers raped and murdered an Iraqi teenager and her entire family)? Is that really the standard we should be judging them by?

We should wait they get to the naked man stacking ala Abu Ghraib before we say "Enough" and finally think maybe we should renegotiate this contract?

Following his previous attacks on the 82nd Airborne (What they hell do they know about (how the Iraqis feel)?), Tucker shows the standard Right-wing mantra that privatization is always better than using public resources, in this case - Mercenaries are always better than using actual U.S. Troops.

Mahar did a good job poking this mind-bubble with a big fat pin. (Note these are not full or complete transcripts)

Maher: There's have been over 200 incidents (of Blackwater shootings).

Paul Krugman: These guys drew weapons on American Soldiers, that was last year.

Tucker: If that's true - why did they get another contract the year after that?

Because nothing, but nothing, ever stands in the way of crony capitalism, not even treason - you should know that considering the little defense fund for Scooter Libby that your daddy runs.

Maher:If there were a bunch of mercenaries over in this country - say Iranians - and they shot up an intersection in the middle of Phoenix, wouldn't we call that terrorism?

Tucker: Well, we be offended by it.

Ok, I know I did a double-take when he said that - in fact if I'd been drinking something it would have been a spit-take. We'd be "offended" if a bunch of privately paid Iranian Mercenaries Enemy Combatants fired fully automatic weapons in the middle of a Phoenix street, killed 11 people and wounded 7 more? Hey dude, the "Democratic" Congress just voted to declare Iran's Republican Guard to be a terrorist organization. Are you fracking kidding me? The B2's would be in air on their way to Tehran in the first 5 minutes.

Tucker: We're pretending they're in control of their control, but let's stop pretending - we're in control of their country.

You call that "Control"?

Tucker: Maybe we shouldn't be (in control), but we are. So the idea that they get to pick and chose whose in their country is a lie, and we should stop aiding and abetting that lie. No, I'm serious - this "Democracy Nonesense" - that's all a joke.

So that means our brave men and women in harms way are fighting and dying for "A Joke"?

Krugman: I'd rather we use Marines - we used to have Marines protecting the embassies. And they're subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice if they do something wrong.

Maher: It's such an insult to the... (Troops?)

Tucker: Who protects your bureau, who protects the New York times Bureau in Baghdad because the military is not going to - you wouldn't have reporters there if it weren't for private contractors.

Krugman: What I'm worried about is why does the U.S. Government continue to deploy mercenaries?

Tucker: But it's not just them.

Krugman: But that's what's at issue.

Tucker: You deploy mercenaries - why are you doing that?

Maher: I'll tell you why...

Krugman: It's not same issue - why am I as a taxpayer paying for Mercenaries?

Maher: Because Iraq is a Boondoogle. It's a big dig overseas. There's nothing the Military couldn't do that Blackwater does - but there's No Money IN IT for the Republicans...

Tucker: I think we should make the New York Times live up to Mr. Krugman's standards.

Krugman: You know that's an idiotic arguement.

Tucker: No it's not and I'll tell you why - I was in Baghdad in November of 2003 and we got ambushed and you know who came to rescue us? Nobody. If you don't have private contractors you'll get killed.

Let's just ignore the fact that Tucker is a private citizen, and the New York Times is a private organization and if they want to hire their own Private Security nothing in the world really should stop them from doing that. The issue which he repeatedly ignored was that U.S. Tax Dollars are going to Mercenaries who are making as much as $1000 a day doing a job that our U.S. soldiers are fully capable of doing.

This shit is why Iraq has cost us $500,000 Billion and rapidly rising, and also why we aren't getting anything like decent results from our investment.

There's no money in bringing Democracy to Iraq.

Compare the above argument from Tucker with what he said earlier in the show on the issue of Health Care.

Tucker: Why is it that we should make health insurance manditory. She (Hillary) said the other day that if you don't have health insurance we're going to prevent you from getting a job - that's authoritarian.

So let me get the straight, we should be required to pay for Blackwater mercenaries - at highly inflated prices - to protect our diplomats in Baghdad using our tax dollars, because without them "we would die", but not for our own healthcare - without which - many of us would die.

Again Krugman takes him apart.

Krugman: The fact of the matter is that if you're uninsured in this country you show up in an emergency room and you get treated at everyone elses expense. The fact of the matter is that we ought to have a guaranteed system where everybody has healthcare and everybody pays taxes to make that system work.

Tucker: I thought you were all for choice and people making their own decisions about their own lives.

Krugman: Not at other people's expense.

Tucker: My only problem is that you're power of the government to force people to do things that you want them to do because you think it's best for them.

Krugman: No, no.. because it's best for the rest of us.

On the one hand Tucker is all for spending tax payer money to the tune of TRILLIONS on overpriced cowboy killers in Iraq, but the idea of spending a fraction of that to keep people alive is somehow "Authoritarian"?

War and Death = Good. Health and Life = Bad.

He's willing to have tax payers provide for any and all times of costs to keep his butt alive while he's running around Baghdad in a Humvee playing the Macho-Man - but not a dime for children who need care and have no other viable option?

And then later on in the broadcast, he argues that it's impossible to have a rational conversation over these issues when the other side automatically assumes that your "motives are Evil." I'm sorry but there really isn't much in this world more evil than letting sick kids suffer and die because you don't want to have uncle sam in your pocket to prevent or treat it properly.

I gotta say, I wish the kind of upside-down socipathic views that Carlson expressed were rare - but they aren't.

And yes, it is "Evil" in it's purest form. Self-preservation first and fuck everybody else.

Vyan

P.S. The Troops Suck - Tucker

Real Time New Rules - 10/12/07

White House endoreses Graeme Frost Smear

From Thinkprogress

Much of the far right’s smear campaign against 12-year old SCHIP recipient Graeme Frost was driven by the right-wing blogosphere. One blog in particular, Redstate, featured especially vitriolic comments. A poster there wrote of the Frost family:

If federal funds were required [they] could die for all I care. Let the parents get second jobs, let their state foot the bill or let them seek help from private charities. […]

I would hire a team of PIs and find out exactly how much their parents made and where they spent every nickel. Then I’d do everything possible to destroy their lives with that info.

Rather than distancing themselves from the smear campaign, the White House today decided to embrace RedState and reward the blog with an official White House posting.

In a post entitled “Democrats’ SCHIP Budget Gimmick,” Nicholas Thompson, a staffer in the White House’s Office of Strategic Intiatives, rallied the conservative troops around Bush’s hard-line stance, reminding them that “we are less than one week” from Congress’ veto override vote.

In today’s New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman writes:

All in all, the Graeme Frost case is a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate. […] Leading conservative politicians, far from trying to distance themselves from these smears, rush to embrace them.

The White House’s tacit endorsement of a blog that promoted baseless attacks against a 12-year old boy serves as a perfect illustration of Krugman’s point.

Torture General says Iraq War is a Failure

Ex-Commander Blasts Iraq 'Nightmare'

By Robert Parry
October 12, 2007

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded U.S. forces in Iraq for the first year of the occupation, blamed “incompetence” by President George W. Bush’s national security team for creating a “nightmare” that could last far into the future.

Sanchez, who led coalition forces from June 2003 to June 2004, used an Oct. 12 speech to a conference of Military Reporters and Editors in Arlington, Virginia, to castigate nearly everyone connected to the Iraq War, including the U.S. news media, Congress, the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon.

“There has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetence in strategic leadership among our national leaders,” Sanchez said. “They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty. In my profession, these types of leaders would be immediately relieved or court-martialed.”

.................

Sanchez’s military career ended in 2006 partly as fallout from the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal which erupted in 2004 under his command. In giving the Oct. 12 speech, Sanchez broke nearly a year of silence since he resigned from the Army, but he ducked a question about the Abu Ghraib scandal.

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/101207....

Here Is The Memo He Wrote Authorizing Torture:



more at:
http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/2007/...

Edwards 2004 campaign illegally targeted by Rove & Gonzales

Chicago Court Orders Discovery of DOJ Political Prosecutions
HARPERS
BY Scott Horton
PUBLISHED October 13, 2007

Senior Republican operatives appear to have targeted John Edwards early in the process of the 2004 presidential election as the most likely Democratic nominee and opponent of the Bush-Cheney reelection effort. Extensively resourced efforts were launched within both FEC and DOJ to go after Edwards’s campaign funding resources, with a particularly ferocious focus on trial lawyers. At the same time, the Justice Department took quite extraordinary steps to camouflage its conduct, for fairly obvious reasons—it was sensitive to the potentially adverse damage to the Bush Administration and its re-election efforts that would result from the disclosure of its use of the machinery of the criminal justice process to attack a political adversary.

......................

Improper White House manipulation of criminal justice machinery took a consistent form: political appointees, acting on White House instructions, would “allocate resources” and “deny resources.” When Rove wanted people “taken out,” copious resources—FBI investigators and prosecutors—would be allocated to concocting a case. When Rove wanted to shield Republican operatives who came under suspicion, federal prosecutors would be fired, transferred, retired or reassigned with regularity. The so-called U.S. Attorneys scandal is one manifestation of this process, but in fact it is reflected in a consistent pattern of dealings that stretch back to the beginning of the Bush Administration.

Papers filed in the Beam case provide further evidence of how the scheme was surreptitiously carried out. It appears that Justice Department lawyers involved in the scheme improperly issued subpoenas to financial institutions designed to collect information on campaign fundraisers for Edwards. The subpoenas were marked with a legend saying that their existence was to be treated as a secret. Since the subpoenas were issued in violation of federal laws protecting the secrecy of information by financial institutions, one has to suspect that this extraordinary step was taken because the Justice Department officials involved knew their conduct was unlawful and sought to obscure that fact by avoiding detection. In any event, the existence of the subpoenas was not a fact entitled to protection. The prosecutors also invoked grand jury secrecy requirements as a reason for maintaining secrecy, a contention which is sure to raise eyebrows in light of the aggressive leaking of grand jury materials in a wide array of political prosecutions. More likely, the prosecutors were extreme anxious to insure that the full breadth of the scheme targeting the Edwards campaign be kept out of public knowledge.

.........................

Gonzales personally authorized a small army of nearly 100 federal agents to raid a law office and simultaneously raid the homes of its employees and their families. Indeed, one agent commented about how he had been flown in from Iraq to help find out why American citizens had made contributions to the John Edwards campaign.

more at:
http://harpers.org/archive/2007/10/hbc-900...

Illegal Domestic Spying Began before 9/11


Even worse than we imagined: AT&T contract for NSA to surveill all internet traffic, foreign and domestic, started before 9/11 Submitted by lambert on Fri, 2007-10-12 21:37.

That’s all Internet traffic, foreign and domestic, data and voice. And the decision to do this was taken, not because of 9/11, but as soon as Bush took office. As was the decision to ignore the rule of law. So much for the idea that the extremely benevolent and trustworthy Bush administration was reacting to 9/11, and just wants “surgical” surveillance* to keep us safe from terrorists, eh? Could this program be Spencer Ackerman’s “Project X”?

According to Wired:
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/10/q...

And in May 2006, a lawsuit filed against Verizon for allegedly turning over call records to the NSA alleged that AT&T began building a spying facility for the NSA just days after President Bush was inaugurated. That lawsuit is one of 50 that were consolidated and moved to a San Francisco federal district court, where the suits sit in limbo waiting for the 9th Circuit Appeals court to decide whether the suits can proceed without endangering national security.

According the allegations in the suit (.pdf):
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/files/gro...

The project was described in the ATT sales division documents as calling for the construction of a facility to store and retain data gathered by the NSA from its domestic and foreign intelligence operations but was to be in actuality a duplicate ATT Network Operations Center for the use and possession of the NSA that would give the NSA direct, unlimited, unrestricted and unfettered access to all call information and internet and digital traffic on ATTÌs long distance network.

The NSA program was initially conceived at least one year prior to 2001 but had been called off; it was reinstated within 11 days of the entry into office of defendant George W. Bush.

An ATT Solutions logbook reviewed by counsel confirms the Pioneer-Groundbreaker project start date of February 1, 2001.


The allegations in that case come from unnamed AT&T insiders, who have never stepped forward or provided any documentation to the courts. But Carl Mayer, one of the attorneys in the case, stands by the allegations in the lawsuit.

“All we can say is, we told you so,” Mayer said.

more at:
http://www.correntewire.com/even_worse_tha...

Friday, October 12

An Inconvenient Controversy: Fox & the Wingnuts vs Peace

Today Al Gore Jr. has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize as co-winner with the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change. This being one of the few times in the last decade that an American has won the prize one would expect that nearly all of America would be rejoicing the same way that we tend to obsessively count our Olympic medals like a miser.

Oops... we did just lost five of those last week didn't we?

Anywho, it appears that not everyons is that happy for Albert. Just this morning the Fixed News and the Right-wing have begun their attack not just on Al Gore, but on the entire Nobel Peace Prize process claiming that it's all biased, political and anti-Bush because recent winners have included Mohamed ElBaradei of the IAEA (who told Bush there we're No Nukes in Iraq and Bush - well - didn't listen) and Jimmy Carter (who has said that for foreign policy Bush is the Worst President Ever because like - He Is!).

For a contest these guys weren't even involved in, they sure are sore losers.


Some Conservatives may be shocked and dismayed to hear it, but it really shouldn't be a surprise that George W. Bush, a man who has advocated and implemented perpetual endless War as the solution to just about every major problem he has faced, has not been seriously considered for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Y'know that thing with "P.E.A.C.E." right there in it's name?

The idea that former Vice-President and 2000 Presidential L.O.S.E.R. Albert Gore Jr. could actually win something - well, y'know, not counting The Oscar and The Emmy - seems have them going slightly over the edge. Again.

Ok, ok... still!

"Look on the bright side: after Arafat, Carter, and Iranian marionette Mohammed ElBaradei, the award couldn’t possibly be more degraded." - Hot Air’s Allahpundit

"Keeping to the trend of politicized awards, the Nobel Peace Prize has been given jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." - National Review’s Jay Richards

"The Nobel Prize committee has basically surrendered to hysterics, mass exaggerators, and liars, most of who are not even climatologists or even any type of scientist." - William Teach at Pirate’s Cove

"I wasn’t even aware that they had a Nobel Prize for deceptive rhetoric." - Confederate Yankee

"This continues the trend of the Peace Prize being awarded, not for achievements in spreading peace, but to highlight the Committee’s political agenda." - James Joyner at Outside The Beltway.

Fortunately for them though, they have lots of low friends in high places including apparently one judge in Britain who just yesterday (wow, what a coincidence) has ruled that Al Gore's film "An Inconventient Truth" can not be shown in English Schools without "Guidance Notes" also being included.

In response to this Fox and Friend's Steve Doocy (the blonde-haired guy who actually is Steve Doocy at least according to Steven Colbert last night) was practically giddy.

Doocy: You know, I’m not a scientist. I don’t know if any of that stuff is true. I don’t think any of it’s true. I just know that my daughter watched the movie last week. ... [She said Gore] took three shots at George Bush. And my daughter, who’s just 18, was turned off by how it was political. So there you go.

See, their big problem is that it was political? - well don't you know that "Reality has a well-known liberal bias"? (That is according to one well known Steve Doocy fan - also named Steve.)

Guy who is still Steve Doocy: That crazy Jimmy Carter even has one (A Nobel Peace Prize)

Yeah, that's right because we know that people who believe in striving for Peace as an alternative to like - what was it again, oh yeah, WAR - have to be just plain Koo Koo! Who could ever prefer life and prosperity to suffering and death?

Way to show respect for our former Presidents there Stevey, do we need sick a Senate condemnation on this guy or what?

Somehow they manage to yet again play their well worn victim card and whine that somebody somewhere dared to Disagree with George W. Bush and that automatically makes them a bunch of Political Haters. Hey man, it's not Al Gore's fault that George W. Bush pissed on the Kyoto Treaty like it was a last piece of uncleared brush on his horseless, cowless Crawford "ranch" after a long afternoon knocking back a six-packs of near-beer during Sunday Football.

Despite Fox's obsessive paranoia - this Peace Prize Isn't a Referendum on George W. Bush.

Anyway - at one point they state that the Judge found 11 falsehoods within the film, and then at another point they say there are 9 errors.

Er, What?

Ok, Here's me not being a climatologist, but I was found a sample of the 11 So-called Errors on - you guessed it - Newsbusters.

  • The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government's expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
  • The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
  • The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that it was "not possible" to attribute one-off events to global warming.
  • The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that this was not the case.
  • The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
  • The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant's evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
  • The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
  • The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
  • The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
  • The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
  • The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.
  • Please notice something here - None of these so-called "errors" happens to be the claim that either Global Warming isn't happening or that it isn't largely A Manmade Phenomenon.

    The same is true of the "9 Errors" I found noted on ABCNews.com My non-scientific and mildly snarky comments are italicized.

    1.) The sea level will rise up to 20 feet because of the melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland in the near future. (This "Armageddon scenario" would only take place over thousands of years, the judge wrote.) And this judge has a scientific degree in what exactly?

    2.) Some low-lying Pacific islands have been so inundated with water that their citizens have all had to evacuate to New Zealand. ("There is no evidence of any such evacuation having yet happened.") Not Yet, but not because they haven't been trying

    3.) Global warming will shut down the "ocean conveyor," by which the Gulf Stream moves across the North Atlantic to Western Europe. (According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "it is very unlikely that the Ocean Conveyor will shut down in the future...") True, but it has already been changed by the increase of fresh water coming from the melting polar ice caps.

    4.) There is a direct coincidence between the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the rise in temperature over the last 650,000 years. ("Although there is general scientific agreement that there is a connection, the two graphs do not establish what Mr. Gore asserts.") He simply pointed out tempertates and Co2 have remained in correlation, scientists agree - what's the problem?

    5.) The disappearance of the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro is expressly attributable to global warming. ("However, it is common ground that, the scientific consensus is that it cannot be established that the recession of snows on Mount. Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.") It doesn't have to be mainly attributable, only attributable at all!

    6.) The drying up of Lake Chad is a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming. ("It is generally accepted that the evidence remains insufficient to establish such an attribution" and may be more likely the effect of population increase, overgrazing and regional climate variability.) However, Global Warming is still listed as one possible factor in the lake's shrinkage - see below)

    7.) Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans is because of global warming. ("It is common ground that there is insufficient evidence to show that.") But there has been evidence to suggest that we are experiencing a greater percentage of Category 4 and 5 Hurricanes due to warmer gulf waters - and just what is making the water warmer?

    8.) Polar bears are drowning because they have to swim long distances to find ice. ("The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one, which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm.") Just because that's all this judge found, doesn't mean that all that there is... see below

    9.) Coral reefs all over the world are bleaching because of global warming and other factors. ("Separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as overfishing and pollution, was difficult.") Difficult, but not impossible!

    Here's the real problem with all of this - the film actually didn't make most of these claims, not exactly - much of this is taken out of context - what the film merely does is quote various sources who had already published studies on the issue, which to this day remain the best available data. Certainly as our understanding of these complex issues increase these views will change and have to be constantly updated, as Mr. Gore has constantly updated his slideshow. Quibbling over the small stuff doesn't change the big picture - which is that Climate Change is Real.

    Contrary to this judges claims This is what the film says on it's Science Page (I've included links and quotes from each listed source)

    • The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. (NOT that Katrina's strength was a "One off event")

      Source Increasing Destructiveness of Tropical Cyclones.

    • Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.

      Source: World Health Organization

    • The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.

      Source: American Geophysical Union

    • At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.
    • Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a year.

      Source: World Health Organization

      Measurement of health effects from climate change can only be very approximate. Nevertheless, a WHO quantitative assessment, taking into account only a subset of the possible health impacts, concluded that the effects of the climate change that has occurred since the mid-1970s may have caused over 150 000 deaths in 2000. It also concluded that these impacts are likely to increase in the future.

    • Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.
      Source: Source the Wapo

      While both the Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets as a whole are gaining some mass in their cold interiors because of increasing snowfall, they are losing ice along their peripheries. That indicates that scientists may have underestimated the rate of disintegration they face in the future.

      ...

      The report concludes that a temperature rise of just 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit "is likely to lead to extensive coral bleaching," destroying critical fish nurseries in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Too-warm sea temperatures stress corals, causing them to expel symbiotic micro-algae that live in their tissues and provide them with food, and thus making the reefs appear bleached. Bleaching that lasts longer than a week can kill corals. This fall there was widespread bleaching from Texas to Trinidad that killed broad swaths of corals, in part because ocean temperatures were 2 degrees Fahrenheit above average monthly maximums.

      ...

      Many scientists are also worried about a possible collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (Gulf Stream), a current that brings warm surface water to northern Europe and returns cold, deep-ocean water south. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who directs Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, has run multiple computer models to determine when climate change could disrupt this "conveyor belt," which, according to one study, is already slower than it was 30 years ago. According to these simulations, there is a 50 percent chance the current will collapse within 200 years.

    • Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense. Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.

      Source: Artic Climate Impact Assesment 2004

    • More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.
      Via Time Magazine

      Scientists have discovered that quiver trees are starting to die off in parts of their traditional range. The species might be in the early stages of moving southward, trying to escape rising temperatures closer to the equator.

      Twenty-six bird species, including this goose, which breeds in the Arctic, are listed by the World Conservation Union as threatened by global warming. Half are seabirds whose food supplies are diminished because of climate changes. The rest are terrestrial species, including several whose coastal habitats are at risk because of rising sea levels.

    Also doing my own highly technical search and analysis (using The Google) I found that it's true that a mass evacutation from various Pacific Islands to New Zealands hasn't yet occured, but not because the water isn't rising and threatening their island, it's because New Zealand won't let them all in.

    The leaders of Tuvalu—a tiny island country in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia—have conceded defeat in their battle with the rising sea, announcing that they will abandon their homeland. After being rebuffed by Australia, the Tuvaluans asked New Zealand to accept its 11,000 citizens, but it has not agreed to do so.

    Lake Chad is definately shrinking as these satelite photos show. An although Global Warming is not the only factor involved in it's shrikage, it is a factor.

    Via the BBC.

    There is no single cause for the disappearance of Lake Chad.

    Global warming is one factor blamed and local people say rainfall has been steadily reducing by about five to 10mm a year.

    "This lake has to be saved; we know the benefit; we know how people have suffered; we know what we have lost
    Wakil Bakar" Lake Chad Basin Commission

    Other factors include irrigation and the damming of rivers feeding the lake for hydro-electric schemes, which have all combined to devastating effect.

    "Desertification is moving southwards," said William Bata Ndahi, director of the Lake Chad Research Institute.

    "The water is moving further and further away. We believe desertification has contributed most to the demise of Lake Chad."

    This judge argues that drowning of polar bears in the artic was attributed to a storm (and according to the Wall Street Journal the fact that they had to swim so much further than they used to since the Arctic Ice Cap is Shrinking) however the Artic Climate Impact Assesment (which was only the result of four years of work by over 300 scientist) seems to disagree with that assesment.

    Global warming could cause polar bears to go extinct by the end of the century by eroding the sea ice that sustains them, according to the most comprehensive international assessment ever done of Arctic climate change.

    The thinning of sea ice -- which is projected to shrink by at least half by the end of the century and could disappear altogether, according to some computer models -- could determine the fate of many other key Arctic species, said the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, the product of four years of work by more than 300 scientists.

    "The Arctic is really warming now," said Robert Corell, a senior fellow at the American Meteorological Society who chaired the assessment. "These areas provide a bellwether of what's coming to planet Earth."

    In Alaska, western Canada and eastern Russia, average winter temperatures have risen as much as four to seven degrees Fahrenheit within the past 50 years, according to the report and are projected to increase an additional seven to 13 degrees over the next century. Winter temperatures have risen faster than summer temperatures, according to Michael MacCracken, chief scientist for climate change programs at the Washington-based Climate Institute, because thin sea ice releases more energy from the ocean into the atmosphere.

    It's not like we have clear and concise evidence that the Artic Ice Pack is shrinking at a rate far faster than Scientist have previously projected. Y'know - like pictures and stuff.

    Ok, ok, enough!

    I'm not going to try and debunk all nine - or does this one go to eleven? - of these arguements because it's pointless. The goal of wingnuts is to keep us in the midst of an endless debate, to keep us arguing and nitpicking over whether or not global warming is the primary cause, or a secondary cause while ignoring that it's still a Cause - whether it was the storm that killed those polar bears or the extra distance they were swimming, or like Both, and ignore the fact that POLAR BEARS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO DROWN - EVER - and whether or not chart 18b in scene 24 of "an inconvenient truth" is consistent with chart 32c in scene 41 (Oh look, we got him this time...that liar) instead of taking action, instead of doing something - Anything about the issue. It should be obvious that if a poor little non-scientist like me with an 8-year-old PC can poke this many holes in this judges ruling in an hour and half, he stands practically no chance on appeal.

    Take that man-who-is Steve Doocy, and your black-haired sidekick too.

    If (most) scientists are correct and humans have the potential the impact climate change and we at least try - where's the harm? It's very likely our economies will boom as a result of new alternative fuels and conservation technologies. Win-Win.

    If on the other hand they're wrong - we lose nothing and still gain these new markets, technologies and will live in a clearner world. Still half a win.

    But if they're right and we do nothing - the planet slowly dies peice by peice. Even if we are only mildly impacted, it's an unneccesary negative consequence.

    Which path makes the most sense?

    And by the way, Al Gore still has a Nobel Peace Prize and George W. Bush doesn't.

    Vyan


    Thursday, October 11

    McConnell helps spread attacks on 12-year-old Graeme Frost

    In a moment very reminicent of the infamous Schiavo Memos where Republican staffers discussed how they could take political advantage of the horrific conflict and suffering of the Schiavo family - Thinkprogress has obtained a text message from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell's communications director Don Stewart which was apparently sent to reporters.

    Seen the latest blogswarm? Apparently, there’s more to the story on the kid (Graeme Frost) that did the Dems’ radio response on SCHIP. Bloggers have done a little digging and turned up that the Dad owns his own business (and the building it’s in), seems to have some commercial rental income and Graeme and a sister go to a private school that, according to its website, costs about $20k a year ‹for each kid‹ despite the news profiles reporting a family income of only $45k for the Frosts.

    Could they get any lower?

    Yes, they could, and did.

    So apparently the people in McConnell's office don't think the idea of attacking an injured and vulnerable child and their family is even a little bit - icky - (shades of Shawn Horbeck?) - they think this is a perfect time to do the one thing they seem competant at accomplishing.

    Pardon my Rumsfledian self interview but...

      Would that be running the Country?

    Uh, No.

      Governing anything?

    No.

      Fighting terrorism?

    No. (We've - the world that is - has had more terrorist attacks over the last 6 years than ever before)

      Winning wars?

    No. (We're even losing in Afghanistan under their "leadership")

      Fighting Crime?

    No. (After declining for over a decade and a half, crime rates are now rising)

      Handling our tax money responsibly?

    (Snort) Hell No.

      Ok, What is it?

    The obvious of course - Attacking Democrats.

    This is how Stewart completed his email.

    Could the Dems really have done that bad of a job vetting this family?

    Thankfully no self-respecting News agency would take such fetid, rotted bait. No actual professional journalist would look at this poor 12-year-old who went through months of hospitalization and additional physical therapy after a car crash and presume that his family could be so calculated as to use him in such a cold heartless manner without first - y'know - a little Fact Checking?.

    If that's what you thought, think again.

    Ladies and Dems I give you CNN's John Roberts.

    Roberts: Some of the accusations [against the Frosts] may be exaggerated or false. But did the Democrats make a tactical error in holding up Graeme as their poster child?

    CNN Analyst: I think in this instance what happened was the Democrats didn’t do as much of a vetting as they could have done on this young man, his situation, his family. [...]

    Limbaugh: The dirty little secret is this : the Democrats put lies into the Frost's kids hands - a 12-year-old kid being used - to advance distortion and a lie.

    Roberts: The Frosts refuse to show their tax returns to a local reporter.

    Analyst: More and more, Congress is acting less like a deliberative legislative body, and more like a political campaign. We’ve been seeing the politicization of every aspect of government.

    Roberts: And we should point out as well the Frost's parents Halsey and Bonnie Frost still do not have health insurance.

    They still don't have health insurance - as if that was a "choice" on their part? It's not like they were turned down three times recently by private insurance because of their so-called "pre-existing conditions". No.

    Although this report - in passing - notes that the accusations made by FreeRepublic and repeated by Malkin and Limbaugh simply aren't true it does so in condescending terms. They re-broadcast Limbaugh's statments that "Dems put lies in the hands of a 12-year-old" but they don't bother to either point out what those alleged lies are or give anyone - ANYONE - a single second on-air to rebut Limbaugh!! No, instead the report that the Frosts only claim to be receiving scholarships to pay for their childrens tuition to these "hoity toity" schools. It's not like anyone at CNN knows how to like, ask the schools or maybe ask the state who happens to be supplying those scholarship or anything.

    No, it's just a "claim" - nothing to take seriously. Move along, nothing to see here.

    Yet, since the Frosts refused to turn over their TAX RETURNS TO THE PRESS, the same type of press - ok, well not exactly the "same" - that printed their home address on a site populated by not exactly the nicest and most stable persons in the country, naturally we should assume they must have something to hide!!!

    Quick Side trip to Conservo-Land, Home of the Politically Sociopathic!

      How could the Democrats be so stupid as to use a child to talk about a program for - um - children?

      Who does that? (Not counting President Bush who used "Snowflake Babies" on his first Stem Cell Veto and an actual Stem-Cell recipient named Kaitlyne McNamara on his second Veto)

      The Dems should have known that asking the Frost's to go public and saying that "S-Chip helped me when I needed it" would be an explosive political statement that would mean the opening of their entire lives to public scrutiny and vetting.

      (Anyone check the Medical records on the McNamara girl and see if she really did get bona-fide Stem-Cell treatments? Y'never know right?)

      I mean, doesn't this happen to every non-politician whose ever given the Democratic response?

    Ok, now that we've completed our tour of crazy-town U.S.A... we return to our regularly scheduled reality, still in progress...

    And all the while that CNN and the press are all a-twitter over how the Democrats could be so clumsy - never mind the, what do you call them? oh yeah, Facts - it turns out that they been lead by the nose to this conclusion by - ta da - the Republican Minority Leader who is gearing up to trying and sustain the President's S-CHIP Veto.

    Think my little trip to unreality world was unfair? Ok, here's a return passage through it's dark dangerous lands via the Malkinator herself.

    Snort-worthy conspiracy theory of the day...The tinfoil hatters at ThinkProgress actually believes conservative bloggers were in cahoots with Mitch McConnell, whom I lambasted below. The unreality-based community really does live in a different galaxy.

    Right-Wing jack-booted Neo-Fascist Bint says wha?

    Mitch McConnel wasn't involved in twisting this story for political gain to the direct detriment of children whom the President WILL throw off the program? Do tell.

    Let's just keep in mind what is at stake hear - Health Care for 4 Million Children and what Mitch McConnel is really trying to do is undermine Republican Chuck Grassley's efforts to implement a Veto Override. From Olbermann last week.

    Let's not lose sight of what's really going on here, let's not let the strum, drang, smoke and mirrors of political machinations distract us all from the simple fact that we are literally arguing over letting injured children suffer and sometimes die or else force their families into destitution.

    This is not America. We can't let it be. This Can. Not. Stand.

    Tell Senator Grassley to keep up the good fight, the Right Fight for all our kids if and when they should need it.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley
    135 Hart Senate Bldg.
    Washington, DC
    20510-1501
    202.224.3744

    And tell him Dkos sent cha.

    Vyan

    Wednesday, October 10

    The Malkin/Graeme Frost Battle Heats up

    Today the New York Times has a report out over the furor over 12-year-old Greame Frost, the young boy who gave the Democratic Radio address two weeks ago over S-CHIP.

    Right wing sites have savagely assailed the use of such a young person to deliver a political message, and then attacked his family for being "too rich" to be eligible for such "lavish" benefits.

    But now, that blather has been totally debunked.

    As it turns out, the Frosts say, Graeme attends the private school on scholarship. The business that the critics said Mr. Frost owned was dissolved in 1999. The family’s home, in the modest Butchers Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, was bought for $55,000 in 1990 and is now worth about $260,000, according to public records.

    So has that stopped the right wing from slandering a 12-year-old and his family? Not even a little.

    As I outlined in detail yesterday the wingnuts have shown just how much they care about "poor children" with initial attacks against the Frost's which went this way.

    The critics accused Graeme’s father, Halsey, a self-employed woodworker, of choosing not to provide insurance for his family of six, even though he owned his own business. They pointed out that Graeme attends an expensive private school. And they asserted that the family’s home had undergone extensive remodeling, and that its market value could exceed $400,000.

    One critic, in an e-mail message to Graeme’s mother, Bonnie, warned: "Lie down with dogs, and expect to get fleas."

    Contrary to some critics I found on DU who wished to point the finger back at Democrats and the DNC for using the Frost's in their radio address and not backing them up... the fact is that they have backed them up.

    Democrats, including the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, have risen to the Frosts’ defense, saying they earn about $45,000 a year and are precisely the type of working-poor Americans that the program was intended to help.

    Ms. Pelosi on Tuesday said, "I think it’s really a sad statement about how bankrupt some of these people are in their arguments against S-chip that they would attack a 12-year-old boy."

    Now that it's been published that the Frost's total household income is only $45,000 - which easily meets the state cutoff of $55,220 for a family of six - capital Hill Republicans who had been planning to make considerable hay out of these "welfare scoff-laws" have decided to cool their jets.

    Republicans on Capitol Hill, who were gearing up to use Graeme as evidence that Democrats have overexpanded the health program to include families wealthy enough to afford private insurance, have backed off.

    An aide to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, expressed relief that his office had not issued a press release criticizing the Frosts.

    But cutting and running away from the issue - which Mitch McConnel's office apparently fed to the winger blogs in the first place - when you happen to be completely totally wrong doesn't seem to be Michelle Malkin's style. Instead, she's upped the attack.

    A word for all the faux outraged leftists accusing conservative bloggers of waging a "smear campaign:" Asking questions and subjecting political anecdotes to scrutiny are what journalists should be doing.

    When a family and Democrat political leaders drag a child down to Washington at 6 in the morning to read a script written by Senate Democrat staffers on a crusade to overturn a presidential veto, someone might have questions about the family’s claims. The newspapers don’t want to do their jobs. The vacuum is being filled.

    If you don’t want questions, don’t foist these children onto the public stage.

    Fight your battles like adults and stop hiding behind youngsters dragging around red wagons filled with your talking points."

    Apparently Malkin never considered that "real" journalists might have already asked these questions and found there was no "there" there. (How long would it have taken to ask and discover this is a family of six living on just $45,000 a year?)

    Oh well, not that such a thing as a complete lack of facts would ever stop Malkin.

    But Michelle Malkin, one of the bloggers who have strongly criticized the Frosts, insisted Republicans should hold their ground and not pull punches.

    "The bottom line here is that this family has considerable assets," Ms. Malkin wrote in an e-mail message. "Maryland’s S-chip program does not means-test. The refusal to do assets tests on federal health insurance programs is why federal entitlements are exploding and government keeps expanding. If Republicans don’t have the guts to hold the line, they deserve to lose their seats."

    As for accusations that bloggers were unfairly attacking a 12-year-old, Ms. Malkin wrote on her blog, "If you don’t want questions, don’t foist these children onto the public stage."

    Ok, so let me get this straight - Malkin is saying that because the Frost's home has appreciated over the last sixteen years, that when the Frost's applied for S-CHIP after their children suffered traumatic brain injuries in a car crash, that the state should make them appraised their home and if it's worth "too much" they should be denied care and be forced to sell it (which might have netted between $350,000-$400,000 in a depressed housing market) before providing for their children's healthcare?

    So instead of receiving S-Chip they should live on the street, or even worse yet Rent - while trying to pay for private health care out of the house money once it finally clears escrow?

    Pardon my clear precise English, but are you FUCKING SHITTING ME!?

    So the Republican solution for the 47 Million people without heath care many of whom had to go into bankruptcy to pay medical bills is - sell your house and go into bankruptcy?

    But then of course, there's always the Mystical Magical Fairy Tax Cuts that Malkin endorsed in her original attack on the Frosts.

    So executive vice-presidents’ families are now the new new poor? I support lower taxes for the Frosts, increased child credits for the Frosts, an end to the "death tax" and other encroachments on transgenerational wealth transfer, and even severe catastrophic medical-emergency aid of one form or other. But there is no reason to put more and more middle-class families on the government teat, and doing so is deeply corrosive of liberty.

    Yes, there is a reason - they have no other viable option.

    At only $45,000 a year you could cut their taxes to zero and still wouldn't help much with family medical expenses which could easily be above $20,000. Subtract from that private school tuition of another $40,000 and were deep into the negative figures. (Graeme and his sister are attending the schools on state sponsored scholarships which currently costs the family $500/year) Also the Frost's aren't eligible for the "Death Tax" unless you want to go completely Oliver Twist and make the Frosts children into Orphans.

    That's mighty nice work for a so-called "Party of Life."

    Then again, the right-wing does seem have this odd fascination with Street Urchins. I'm sure we could just ask Mark Foley for the 4-1-1 on that.

    Another major problem with Malkin's plan, and the reason the Frosts haven't decided to simply sell everything they own and buy private insurance is the fact that Private Insurance Won't Have Them!

    In a telephone interview, the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions. "We stood up in the first place because S-chip really helped our family and we wanted to help other families," Mrs. Frost said.

    The dust has begun to fly so fast on this issue that Ezra Klein has challenged Malkin to a Duel Debate on the issue.

    Let’s have a good faith argument. I will debate Michelle Malkin anytime, anywhere, in any forum (save HotAir TV, which she controls), on the particulars of S-CHIP. We can set the debate at a think tank, on BloggingHeads, over IM. Hell, we can set up the podiums in the shrubbery outside my house, since that seems to be the sort of venue she naturally seeks out. And then if Malkin wants an argument, she can have one. We’ll talk S-CHIP and nothing but — nothing of the Frosts, or Congress, or her blog.

    I'm expecting Malkin will be cutting and running from this challenge any second now - almost as quickly as the sprinted away from Max Blumenthal's questions about her support for internment camps at CPAC.

    And isn't that such a courageous tendency for someone who took it upon herself to Publish the Frost's Home Address, so that all her wingnutty fans could give them the same stalkeratzi treatment that Vote Vets and Brian McGough have been receiving?

    Classy people these aren't.

    Programs like S-CHIP actually provide help to people who genuinely need it. Rather than helping the helpless through the tough times (that Repubs created) to get back on their feet, the right-wing would rather slam on it's "Right to Life" pulpit and attack Democrats for trying to help while they deny care to anyone who can't afford to pay through the nose a Right to Living.

    Vyan

    Tuesday, October 9

    Limbaugh and Winger Hate-Sites smear a 12-year-old boy

    Well, we've all known for sometime that hardcore Republicans have absolutely no shame. Not after Terri Schiavo. Not after the infamous Sylvia's incident. Not after Mark Foley or Jeff Gannon/Guckert.

    But yesterday Rush Limbaugh actually managed to pull out a backhoe and discover a brand new low point. It wasn't bad enough that he implied that any soldier who disagree with him was a "phony" or a some kind of "suicide smear-bomber" or somehow incapable of thinking for himself. Now he's attacked a 12-year-old SCHIP recipient, whose sister has suffered traumatic brain injuries claiming that he's been sent out by the left with a bag of lies.

    They filled this kid’s head with lies just as they have some of these soldiers about me.

    Did they? Someone around here has a head full of lies, but I don't think it was this particular 12-year-old.

    The boy in question is 12-year-old Graeme Frost, who delivered the Democratic radio address a couple weeks ago just prior to the President's veto of S-CHIP.

    If it weren’t for SCHIP, I might not be here today. ... We got the help we needed because we had health insurance for us through the CHIP program. But there are millions of kids out there who don’t have CHIP, and they wouldn’t get the care that my sister and I did if they got hurt. ... I just hope the President will listen to my story and help other kids to be as lucky as me.

    Republicans were incensed that Democrats would use a child in such a way. How could anyone ever use a child in such a way for crass political purposes?

    Anywho - Graeme himself has returned to the Winger gunsights after a Freeper (literally a Free Republic poster named "icwhatudo") claimed that ...

    Graeme and his sister Gemma attend wealthy schools that cost "nearly $40,000 per year for tuition" and live in a well-off home.

    So now not only did the Democrats commit the sin of sending a child out to do their "dirty work" of saying that taking Health Care away from children is generally a bad idea (so bad it makes "Compassionate" Neo-Cons like Bill Kristol giddy) - now they've supposedly done so with a little health-fare queen?

    So far this his prompted attacks on the Frost family from The National Review

    The Democrats sign up a sick kid to read their Saturday morning radio address. As Paul Krugman has observed, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of us heartless bastards on the right were no doubt too busy laughing to pay attention.

    Mr Frost, the "woodworker", owns his own design company and the commercial property it operates from, part of which space he also rents out; they have a 3,000-sq-ft home on a street where a 2,000-sq-ft home recently sold for half a million dollars; he was able to afford to send two children simultaneously to a $20,000-a-year private school; his father and grandfather were successful New York designers and architects; etc.

    Bad things happen to good people, and they cause financial problems and tough choices. But, if this is the face of the "needy" in America, then no-one is not needy.

    From Michelle Malkin

    The Democrats chose to outsource their airtime to a Seventh Grader. If a political party is desperate enough to send a boy to do a man’s job, then the boy is fair game. As it is, the Dems do enough cynical and opportunist hiding behind biography and identity, and it’s incredibly tedious. And anytime I send my seven-year-old out to argue policy you’re welcome to clobber him, too. The alternative is a world in which genuine debate is ended and, as happened with Master Frost, politics dwindles down to professional staffers writing scripts to be mouthed by Equity moppets...

    ...So executive vice-presidents’ families are now the new new poor? I support lower taxes for the Frosts, increased child credits for the Frosts, an end to the "death tax" and other encroachments on transgenerational wealth transfer, and even severe catastrophic medical-emergency aid of one form or other. But there is no reason to put more and more middle-class families on the government teat, and doing so is deeply corrosive of liberty.

    And from Whizbang.

    First, Mr. Halsey Frost, Graeme's father, owns his own woodworking design studio, Frostworks, so his claim that he can't get health insurance through work is shockingly deceptive. He chooses not to get health care for his family. Second, Graeme and his sister Gemma attend the very exclusive Park School, which has a tuition of $20,000 a year, per child. Third, they live in a 3,000+ square foot home in a neighborhood with smaller homes that are selling for at least $400,000.

    Graeme and his family have also been attacked by Powerline, and the Weekly Standard blog for their partisipation in this gross charade.

    I never knew that Republicans hated the "rich" this deeply. It's practically stunning that they would came after one of "their own" so strongly considering how much they love to give tax cuts to the rich. "It's good for the economy" and all that.

    There's just one little problem with this outrage parade over the Frost family and their rampant "fleecing of the state."

    It's not True.

    1) Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.

    2) His sister Gemma attends another private school to help her with the brain injuries that occurred due to her accident. The school costs $23,000 a year, but the state pays the entire cost.

    3) They bought their "lavish house" sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

    4) Last year, the Frosts made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.

    5) The state of Maryland has found them eligible to participate in the CHIP program.

    So now following in the wake of all this comes Rush Limbaugh playing his favorite tune. "pity the poor Republican victims of the vicious Left-Wing Lies" Yes, that's right those damn dirty liberals have strapped lies onto our solders, and now strapped them onto the poor tiny chidren that the Wingers just want to "save." (By doing the the "compasionate thing" of cutting off their healthcare!)

    Boo hoo hooo. Sniff

    So the bottom line for me is: They can’t rely on truth to make their case for their cause. They have to lie. Be it about me, be it about their own voters (such as the Frosts) be it about President Bush, they must lie — and anybody who stands in the way of their succeeding with that lie becomes an enemy, becomes a target. That’s where I and my buddies in talk radio come in. We are a thorn in their side because we represent the truth they are trying to hide, the truth that they are lying about, and they have to do something about it — and they have to do that by lying. [...]

    They send the kid out to lie. They filled this kid’s head with lies just as they have some of these soldiers about me. Put lies in the kid’s head or put it on the script that he’s reading. He goes out and reads it. He’s 12-years-old! They will use anybody! They’ll corrupt anybody, to get where they’re headed. That’s who they are, folks.

    OH Poor Rush, poor poor Rush. He's so maligned and misunderstood. And those libruls are just so EEEEEVil!!!

    How could they?

    That's right, we lefties will do just about anything to stop the right wing - even tell the fracking truth everyone once in a while if that what it takes.

    You should try it Rush, it might ease your poor tortured soul.

    Yeah, yeah I know - "fat chance" of that ever happening...

    <>Update: Wed Oct-10-07 09:11 AM by Vyan http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/washington/10memo.htm...



    Democrats, including the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, have risen to the Frosts’ defense, saying they earn about $45,000 a year and are precisely the type of working-poor Americans that the program was intended to help.

    Ms. Pelosi on Tuesday said, “I think it’s really a sad statement about how bankrupt some of these people are in their arguments against S-chip that they would attack a 12-year-old boy.”

    The facts of course, haven't slowed down the ring-wing smear machine.

    Republicans on Capitol Hill, who were gearing up to use Graeme as evidence that Democrats have overexpanded the health program to include families wealthy enough to afford private insurance, have backed off.

    An aide to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, expressed relief that his office had not issued a press release criticizing the Frosts.

    But Michelle Malkin, one of the bloggers who have strongly criticized the Frosts, insisted Republicans should hold their ground and not pull punches.

    “The bottom line here is that this family has considerable assets,” Ms. Malkin wrote in an e-mail message. “Maryland’s S-chip program does not means-test. The refusal to do assets tests on federal health insurance programs is why federal entitlements are exploding and government keeps expanding. If Republicans don’t have the guts to hold the line, they deserve to lose their seats.”

    As for accusations that bloggers were unfairly attacking a 12-year-old, Ms. Malkin wrote on her blog, “If you don’t want questions, don’t foist these children onto the public stage.

    Capitol Hill Republicans have thought wisely and decided to cut and run on this issue, but not Malkin - no sirree! She thinks the family should sell off all their assets, including the home, so that they would (temporarily) have enough money to pay for their own healthcare and school tuition. (Which at $40,000 for school, another $20,000 or so for annual healthcare and about $370,000 in assets - maybe - from a depressed housing market for a family with six children - subtracting RENT would last about 3-4 years.)

    Ok, so what happens when the kid turns 17 - ship him off to Iraq where he can find out what really shitty healthcare is truly like?

    Vyan

    Sunday, October 7

    Ending the War Without the Prez

    From Kpete
    Pelosi says Bush has to end the war
    By Mike Soraghan
    October 07, 2007

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Congress cannot end the war in Iraq without President Bush’s approval.

    Voters, she told Fox News Sunday, “want it to end and they had expectations that Congress could end it.”

    But, she added, “You know we can’t without a presidential signature.”

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/pelosi...

    But Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson challenged Pelosi’s assertion just a little later Sunday.

    ............................

    Madam Speaker that is BULL! No More Excuses-Please Lead Us Out Of This Mess NOW.


    Bill Richardson has called Nancy Pelosi and Democratic candidates on their positions on the Iraq war.

    He told ABC News’s "This Week" that Congress could "de-authorize" the war without Bush’s signature, using a resolution already introduced by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).

    "I believe a national movement could be built to support that," Richardson said. "The president cannot veto that because it would be under Article I of the Constitution. That is the decisive step that the American people want. There is a disconnect between the voters and what’s happening in the Congress."

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/pelosi...

    Maybe She Needs A Reminder

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the exclusive power to declare war, in the following wording:

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water...

    Carl Bernstein pwns Fox & Friends

    First off, anyone like Berstein who goes on Fox News to try and sell his new book on Hillary Clinton has got huevos rancherous in his pants.

    Being posed the question of should Chris Matthews moderate the upcoming Republican debate after having stated his opinions on the "Criminality" of the Bush Administration, Pulitzer Prize Winner Carl Bernstein manages to deftly bob weave and jab with the Fox & Friends staff, making them look like the dim-partisan-bulbs that they are.


    Bernstein: I think it's very important that journalist put in the front people who are readers and viewers whether or not there are questions of criminality, of unconstitutionality about this President. Certainly the question of lying, mendacity - of the Secretary of State, of the President of the United States, of the Vice-President - these are questions that given the lack of congressional oversight and the lack of answers - this is news. And we ought to be raising the questions (and the former Attorney General). Have their been criminal acts? Let's look at the particular examples and perhaps - now, criminality is to be judged by the courts not by reports.

    Fox Guy: That's the problem he seems to be answering his own question. He's not just raising the question of criminality, he's saying there's criminality.

    Bernstein: Exactly. I think that - again - I'd have to see some examples. But I've raised the question myself, if people go to CarlBernstein.com, they'll see I've written a couple articles myself for vanity fair.

    Yeah, some specifics like the War Crimes Act via Gitmo, abu Ghraib and Haditha, Kidnapping via Renditions, the UN Conventions against Torture via the various detainee treatment memos not to mention the 8th Amendment, Domestic Spying without a Warrant in violation the FISA Act and the Fifth Amendment, politicizing the Justice department in violation of the Hatch Act, using the power of the DOJ to influence elections in violation of the Voting Rights Act, Gross Criminal Negligence for ignoring the victims of Katrina, paying for Fake News Reports, re-writing and ignoring thousands of laws on the back of a paper-napkin via "signing statments", more negligence in ignoring the U.S.S. Cole and dozens of reports warning about a domestic attack by al Qeada, then charging into Iraq without a fracking clue what they were doing, and lastly Treason for revealing the identity of an undercover CIA Operative simply to make political points.

    Then of course you have various former members of the White House Staff who've all been convicted of crimes, such as David Safavian, Claude Allen and Scooter Libby.

    Could Matthews have been thinking of this kind of "Criminality?"


    Let's remember that when the Democrats refused to attend the Fox News debates they were accused of being cowards. "If they can't stand up to Fox News, how are they going to stand up to al Qaeda?"

    Which of course tells us that Fox News is a terrorist organization.

    Since then we've had the Republicans run with their Cialis powered-tails between their legs from the primarily Black Debate on PBS, the Spanish Language Debate on Univision and the Gay Issues with the Human Rights Campaign and now - Chris Matthews who not only drank the Kool-aid, he pratically pisses it, is now "too polarizing" to moderate the Republican Debates?

    Oy vey!

    So of course, they Foxublicans have to then resort to their "Victim" card.


    Fox Guy: My question is this, do you think that the news media has taken a more serious look at this President than they have at Presidents that might be more towards their viewpoint?

    Bernstein: No. I think that your perception, indicated by the question, is that the outrages and lack of truth telling is more grievous in this Presidency, in particularly in graat national and international issues, is much greater in this Presidency than any Presidency in history - perhaps including Nixon. It's just a matter of fact.

    Fox Guy: It just seems to me that if an news anchor were to come out and say something like that without giving details there would be more outcry from the Press.

    Bernstien: Oh, I don't think so, if the Press was ever all over a Presidency - look what it did during the Clinton Administration.




    Here in part two Bernstein lays it out on with the question of whether Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity should be moderating the debate and addresses the rarely mentioned point that our internal ideological/cultural battle is taking a significant amount of energy and attention away from fighting actual terrorists.

    And I wonder whose fault is that? Maybe it has something to do with that guy who calls himself a "Culture Warrior?!"

    Just wondering.

    The amazing thing is that they actually Shut the F-Up for two minutes and let him finish his thought and statment instead of the usual Fox tactic of peppering somebody making a decent point with swarm of questions, like anti-aircraft fire at an incoming bomber.

    Rat-tat-tatt-tattt!!! "I'll get you bastards yet!!!"

    This time though, not so much. But then again Fox & Friends is the face of friendly facism.

    Bernstein: Going back to our culture today, I think we continue to be poliarize in an ideological cultural war. One of the reasons I'm so happy with this book about Hillary is that I've tried to take her out of the context this cultural warfare and say - "Here's who she is, look at her whether your on the left or the right, and make up your mind if you hate her why you hate her, and if you like her why you like her, but don't make it tied to this vicious gridlock that has kept this country from moving anywhere. And these debates that are so ideologically fired - we have put more energy into fighting each other in this ideological war in washington than we have to real terrorism. The candidate that gets beyond ideology is the one that's going to win the general election.


    Vyan